A fabulous new art gallery and book store opened recently in downtown Penticton. Local food and wine writer Jeannette Montgomery has expanded her cultural repertoire to include art and books in a funky, urbanesque location tucked upstairs above Fibonacci on Main Street. M Gallery/Book’s focus is to promote Canadian talent. Jeannette says “There is so much talent in Canada, in art and literature, I hope I can provide consumers with a small window into those emerging conversations.”
M Gallery/Book will cater to those looking for the “interesting undiscovered” art and literature. Her goal is to put the spotlight on these creative geniuses on the rise.
She is also currently building an online store that will be updated with artwork and books available — great for out-of-towners.
Current art on display includes local Kelowna artist Leanne Spanza, whose colourful art reflects her love of landscape. I was immediately inspired by her work and snapped up a painting for myself.
Check her out: #202 – 219 Main St., Penticton (www.mgallerybook.com).
Summerlanders have embraced the arrival of True Grain Bread with a hearty hug. This old-world-inspired Euro bakery’s flagship store has been a destination for foodies in Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island since 2004 and “is a beacon for sustainable business practices, partnership with local farmers and producers and building and fostering community.” These are our kind of bakers.
True Grain offers handcrafted, organic breads and baked goods. They also make a great latte, and who doesn’t like to hang out in a place that smells like baking bread? It’s like a spa inhalation room for bread lovers. True Grain is located at 10108 Main St. — formerly Cake Box Bakery (Truegrain.ca).
Other exciting news on the creative front — buzz is that Diner en Blanc is coming to the Okanagan Sept. 9. This dreamlike event has been on my radar for a while. I have pined from afar watching chic Parisians meet at a last-minute secret location to dine picnic-style entirely attired in white. Le sigh. This sought-after event announces its growing network with over 15 new cities worldwide across five continents joining in — including us. Le yay!
Launched with just a handful of friends by Parisian François Pasquier over 20 years ago, Paris’ Dîner en Blanc now assembles nearly 15,000 people each year. “Beyond the spectacle and refined elegance of the dinner itself, guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by a love of beauty and good taste. Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamour of court society, and diners engage one another knowing they are taking part in a truly magical event.”
There are many rules to follow to attend and I love them all. Dress code: white. BYO: gourmet picnic basket with real plates, cutlery and glassware. Only white wine or bubbles are allowed. Rain or shine the picnic will happen, and if you don’t show up, you will be blackballed from the invitation list forever.
Are you as excited as I am? Sign up on the Okanagan pre-registration page and pray for an invite — I have my fingers and toes crossed. Ladies: it is our chance to wear fascinators!
Preregistration for Diner En Blanc Okanagan at: http://ledineraokanagan.eventbrite.com/.
PS: I just got notice that I made the invite list for the Vancouver Diner at the end of August.
Jennifer Schell is the editor of B.C. Food and Wine Trails magazine.